Sports as Religion

Hockey frenzy is on in Ottawa right now. I'm quite certain I have commented on the issue of sports a while ago -- especially in regards to Noam Chomsky's funny comment about college football from the Manufacturing Consent documentary -- but the issue seems more pertinent than ever. Perhaps, too, I am becoming more jaded about the issue.

I believe that sports fans suffer from a similar type of mental illness that afflicts religious people. OK, OK, perhaps it is not quite as delusional, but it is difficult to ignore the similarities. It seems as though if one if not caught up in "Sens fever", most people express disbelief that it is even possible to not give a shit about the plight of a mere hockey team. Sports fans identify with a team for reasons beyond my comprehension. They don't know anybody on the team, they have no vested financial or personal interest in how the team fares, and few of the players tend to be from the hometown. Regional affiliation is a dumb principle, anyway. Why arbitrarily care about a team more than another just because its "home base" is located within a 50km radius of your house? It's even more curious for people who are bandwagon fans. Either because they don't care about the team at any other time of the year, or because they come from another city and feel that they now have to change allegiances.

So you get these people who dress up in costumes, paint their bodies, decal their car to no end with paraphernalia, randomly scream like the monkey-men in 2001: A Space Odyssey, and endlessly discuss "the big game". If the team loses, the fans riot like a bunch of apes who got their feelings hurt. If the team wins, the fans riot for shits and giggles and to prove that they are very macho and somehow contributed a great amount to the victory.

The question I ask is to what end does this partisanship exist? You would think that the fate of the world rested on these matches -- and yet what, if anything, really rests on these games? Is there some kind of 'hockey penis' to be gained and flaunted from having the home team win? If people got this involved and excited about things that really mattered, then perhaps we would live in a much better world. Instead, sports partisanship just brings out the grunting, sweaty, braindead, primitive apes that humans ordinarily seek to repress out of "elegance" and a sense of superiority.


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